Search engines have become a great way to drive traffic to your local business site, but you can also drive physical customers to your store if you optimize your Google Maps listing.
Google Maps is one of the tools that consumers use the most when searching for a nearby business. Not only does Google Maps provide photos of your business, but your customers can read reviews, view working hours, check out your location, and even get your mobile phone information.
With the above in mind, getting a good rank for your local Google listing is not always easy, especially if you’re in a competitive industry. In this article, we’ll go over the steps to optimize Google My Business profiles to get better rankings.
We’ll also cover the importance of appearing on relevant searches in your city and tell you how the search engine ranks businesses in your service area.
Why Rank Higher on Google Maps?
Potential customers have been using Google Maps to find out details about your business for a while now. But, over the last few years, Google has introduced several features that help you provide details beyond your business location.
Today, businesses can use Google Maps as a legitimate marketing channel because it can help them establish a solid online presence. Besides posting information about goods and services, you can ask customers to share their experiences as well as self-generated content like photos.
This increases your company’s visibility across the web, especially if you amplify the Google Maps content through social media, your website, and other channels.
How Google Determines Local Search Results and Rankings
Whenever there’s a local search, an algorithm determines the position of your Google business entry on maps.
Just like search engine optimization (SEO), there are many elements that influence your position in local search results.
This is the reason why the practice of improving Maps ranking variables is sometimes referred to as Google My Business SEO.
Some SEO Google My Business variables are located directly on your Google Business profile. Others come from external sources, so you need to balance these in order to get ranked higher in Google Maps.
Some of the factors that influence your local SEO Google Maps search results and rankings include:
- Relevance to the User Search Keyword
- Distance from Searcher
- Brand Reputation/Prominence
- Website or Landing Page
- Completeness of Google Business Profile, so your business listing should include the following factors including NAP (Name, Address, and Phone Number):
- Business Name,
- Address information,
- Phone Number and other contact business information
- Photos (Profile and Cover Photo)
- Your title as the owner, although this is only visible to Google
- Business Hours
- Business Description
- Primary Category
- Secondary Categories
- Website Link
- Positive reviews
How to Optimize Your Listing on Google Maps
Now that we’ve covered the basics of your Google Business profile and Maps search results rankings, let’s go over the steps you need to follow to improve your entry.
Google places SEO above everything else when positioning local business entries. Besides having a complete business profile, you need to ensure that your website is functioning properly and integrated into your digital marketing strategy.
With the above in mind, let’s go over the steps you should follow to improve the performance of your Google business listing.
Provide Accurate Information
The algorithm used to rank Google My Business entries will use the information available whenever there’s a search. Therefore, you need to have all relevant information on your entry and ensure that you’re adding everything about your business to Google.
Besides your business name, make sure to add your business address and a direct link to your business page.
Verify Your Physical Locations
One of the most obscure SEO Google My Business factors is geographical verification. Besides providing their address, business owners should ensure that their local businesses have been physically verified by the platform.
This is a quick process that takes a few days to confirm, so make sure to review your profile and submit this request as it will help customers find your business later on.
Respond to and Manage Reviews
Google My Business rankings are influenced by your overall review score. Good reviews are always great, but you should pay close attention to average or negative reviews.
In addition to requesting reviews, Google allows you to respond to these comments. So, take the time to answer to customers that left feedback on your business listing, especially if it’s a negative review. Google users react well to businesses that are responsive, so a quick reply can change the way clients view your services.
Add Photos to Your Business
In addition to location verification, Google uses photos as one of its main features on your Maps entry. Even if it’s with your mobile phone, take pictures of your services being performed, products, team, premises, and all other areas of your business.
This all equates to digital marketing content that can be used in your campaigns later on.
Enter In-Store Products or Services
There are several additional elements that may influence your rank on Google Maps, for example, having an entry that includes your products and services.
This is an apparent ranking factor in local restaurants, as the top companies in this category usually feature a photo of their menu on their listing.
Benefits of Ranking Higher on Google Maps
Improving your Google map ranking can bring a wide range of benefits. This includes:
- Increased brand awareness and visibility
- Boost the number of website visitors, which can amplify other marketing strategies
- The potential to appear above regular local Google search results
There is no doubt that your Google Maps ranking can bolster the results you get from other strategies. Just make sure to make the proper adjustments to improve your ranking on Google Maps and monitor your site visitors to evaluate your results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) – Optimizing Google Maps Listings
Is Google Maps Listing Free?
Yes, you don’t have to pay any fee or charge to get your business listed on Google. You just have to select the right category and include the right keywords on your site as well as your description to get the best results.
How Do You Get listed on Google Maps?
You need to create an entry on Google Maps in order to get your business listed. If a listing already exists, you should claim it as your own to gain access to all the marketing features Google has available.
Getting better Google map rankings can result in more web visitors, but choosing the right keywords, including your number in your entry, and verifying your location are just some of the steps you have to follow to get the best positions.
To get help ranking higher on relevant local searches and driving more traffic to your business page, get in touch with us today.